A Place to Bury Strangers: Onwards to the Wall EP (Dead Oceans) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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A Place to Bury Strangers

Onwards to the Wall EP

Dead Oceans

Feb 06, 2012 Issue #39 - Best of 2011 Bookmark and Share


With 2009's Exploding Head, A Place to Bury Strangers screeched past the sophomore slump, receiving roughly the same critical response they did for their debuta handful of music scribes who couldn't handle the obvious influences, and a handful who welcomed another take on the 1-2-3s of JAMCs and MBVs.

Those acronyms are inevitablethey typed themselvesbut there is evidence the group has been working on what it means to be uniquely APTBS, such as the vocal melody on "So Far Away" lilting over a harsh ocean of guitars, or the weird guitar/synth textures roping in and out of the title track, or the samples/effects dotting "Drill It Up." There's a new voice in the mix, even: that of new bassist and sometimes-vocalist Dion Lunadon.

Also worth noting is that the band took on every aspect of this EP themselves: production, engineering, mixing, and mastering. Dead Oceans claim the master was "one of the loudest ever submitted to the label." In the age of brick-wall mastering, volume is no surprise, but if Exploding Head prompted fears the band might reign in the noise, they were unfounded. As APTBS refine what they do, they stir in more noise, along with stylistic drifts into the space-rock and noise-rock arenas. The next full-length may escape those pesky influence acronyms once and for all. (www.aplacetoburystrangers.com)

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